Saturday, September 12, 2009

Writer's voice

It's said that a writer's voice reveals the whole person behind the words including his/her ideas, wit, rhythms, and passions. Books by Michael Crichton, for instance, show he was an intelligent man with insight and passion for science, both traditional and experimental. Compare his voice to that of Woody Allen (self-deprecating humor, outsider looking in) or Judy Blume (gentle humor, love of life) and it's easy to how the writer's voice comes through in his/her work.
So that leads me to an obvious question. What does my voice reveal about me? Ideas? I have too many with not enough time and focus to develop them all. Wit? I've got lots of that, especially for puns and the ridiculous situations I find myself in. Rhythms? I alternate between tense and relaxed, and I try to do too many things at once.
My passions? By far, the thing I'm most passionate about is decency and justice for people who are vulnerable. That's no doubt because of my early experiences with Joyce and my work for so many years with kids with disabilities and their families. That passion prompts me to write letters to the local newspaper editor, to legislators, and to network TV shows when I see people who have no voice as the targets of injustice. The recent state budget debacle here in Pennsylvania has pulled the rug out from under senior citizens, at-risk children, and the poor and hungry. I've been protesting and I will continue to protest. I've been praying for resolution to this injustice and I will continue to pray. Not surprisingly, my protagonist, Sophie, develops that same passion for human decency over the course of the book I'm writing.

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